Power Tool Safety
Whether you are a do-it-yourself home improvement person, tradie or a contractor, power tool usage can seem self-explanatory. Many workers and home users forego reading the instructions, planning their tool usage, wearing the proper clothing, and remaining aware of the work surroundings. However, ignoring some simple details in proper power tool safety can cause numerous accidents, including cuts, eye injuries, amputations and impalement with objects. For this reason, it is important for all power tool users to follow the tool tips below.
Read the Directions
The most important part of power tool safety is becoming familiar with any new power tool. This means that every time a user buys a new power tool, s/he should read the instructions. Understanding how to properly use the tool can cut down on tool-related incidents. Even reading the directions for replacement tools, like a replacement power drill, can help users cut down on accidents.
Additionally, knowing how to operate the tool will help users understand the tool’s speed, cut depth, and power. Knowing the location of the shut-off before use will also help a user stop the tool as quickly as possible during any injurious usage.
Inspect the Tool and Your Workspace
The next best way to ensure safety during power tool operation is to inspect the tool and workspace closely before use. This careful inspection should include:
• Inspecting the power cord for cuts.
• Looking for missing parts or missing safety guards.
• Identifying guard and shut-off issues.
• Inspecting blades for looseness or dullness.
• Identifying cracks or defects in the tool.
• Ensuring the tool is plugged into a fully grounded GFCI protected outlet.
• Inspecting the area that you will be working on. Wood and other materials where users are drilling or sawing should be clear of nails, steel, electrical lines, and plumbing lines.
• Making sure the work area is clear of tripping hazards, fire hazards, and dust (which can affect the user’s vision.
Dress for Success
The final place to ensure power tool safety is in the user’s own dress. Clothing should not be too loose that it can catch in the power tool, and jewelry should never be worn during operation. In addition, protective clothing suggested for the power tool use should be worn. Protective equipment like eye goggles, hearing protection, and face masks may be suggested by the manufacturer.
Once power tool users begin to use the tool, it is important to remain aware of the potential danger in all applications. Cords should be kept away from the tool, and shortcuts should never be taken. Whenever an alternate tool is called for, the tool should be used. For example, if a skill saw is needed, do not try to get by using a table saw in a “creative” way. Additionally, during usage, the work area should be kept clean and free from debris at all times.
By following a few simple suggestions during power tool usage, you can remain safe. Reading directions, inspecting the tools and workspace, dressing appropriately, and maintaining safety during usage can keep you and those around you free from harm.